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The Copenhagen Fashion Summit 2012 played host to the biggest names in sustainable fashion to date and saw over 9,000 key industry stakeholders gather to discuss challenges, share innovation, and most importantly, collaborate on fashion sector-specific policy recommendations for the European Commissioner for Climate Action and EU Presidency.
Tasked with co-chairing an expert session aimed at defining recommendations for sustainable fashion consumption, Allanna McAspurn of MADE-BY focused her discussion around two cornerstones of the sustainable fashion agenda:
Reflecting on the day’s session, Allanna explains that “for us it was very important that all fashion brands could improve in these ways. As it stands, we have tools such as the Sustainable Apparel Coalition which are great but can only be used by the front runners, the big companies who have been doing it for a long time, so the challenge remains - how do you engage smaller brands who are just starting to address sustainability?”
Through this consultative process and high level discussion, the team added to the final set of policy recommendations from Nordic Initiative Clean and Ethical (NICE), published on 10 May 2012, which include:
Affirming their position as new leaders in sustainable fashion, H&M communicated their 2020 sustainability targets and showcased their use of the MADE-BY benchmark. “What I found positive was seeing brands talk about sustainability to each other rather than sustainability people communicating about sustainability to fashion people” explains Allanna. “They were talking about it with authority and experience - not superficially.”
With names like Vivienne Westwood, Gucci and Mango in attendance, the summit stood to nudge these issues ever further into the mainstream and upped the ante for major apparel labels to embrace environmental and social transparency. “It makes brands assess what they are doing compared with their peers and competition” says Allanna. Pulling high-flyers from multiple sectors, the Copenhagen Fashion Summit served to create tangible policy recommendations and paved the way for further multi-sector collaboration around sustainable fashion topics.